Sophomore Portfolio

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Animation

I made this animation for DA 101. We started out by collecting sounds from around campus as groups, and then taking these sounds and making an audio piece from them. Then, we scanned both three dimensional objects and two dimensional textures, put those images into Adobe Photoshop, and created our characters and settings for use in Motion. I wanted to make sure I scanned something no one else would, so I scanned my cat, Max.

I was really excited about this assignment for a few reasons. I had always wanted to make something musical out of collected sounds and I also wanted to improve my skills in Motion. After I created the soundtrack, I realized that it told a story and I wanted to bring that to life. I decided to make use of the camera features in Motion so I could follow my characters' motion in three dimensional space. I also used the camera feature to allow me to create different scenes. I used this effect to be able to cut between the dog-rabbit "barking" and jumping inside the house and the nun knocking at the door.

I would have liked to have spent more time on the dog-rabbit character. He would have been more effective if, when he jumped, he moved his legs a bit more. Giving him knees would have also enhanced his character. Overall, I was happy with how this project turned out. I achieved my goals, because it stood out in my class as unique and I developed skills in Motion.


Because You're Emo

Because You're Emo

My goals for “Because Your Emo” were to get acclimated to the studio and Logic and to have a fully realized recording of a song I wrote, sang, and played. I initially chose not to use a click track while recording because the song changes tempo and I did not know how to automate at that point in the project.

I don’t feel like I ever quite got the levels quite right on the vocals. Some of the harmonies are much quieter than I intended them to be, but because I didn’t want them to overpower the melody and couldn’t quite find the sweet spot, I left them quiet. I added MIDI drums to this track, using the keyboard for input. I am not a percussionist so the prospect of adding drums was intimidating. I think they turned out well, but ideally I would have liked to record the song with an actual drummer.

Overall I think the piece turned out well. I took a simple song I wrote in middle school and produced it in the studio. I met my goals and in turn have a good recording of my work.

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Futures

“Futures” was one of my entries into Campus MovieFest in 2009. It won best picture on the school level and went on to the Southern Regional Grand Finale. It combined my abilities in video production such as camera work, lighting, and editing in Final Cut Pro, as well as what I learned in Recording Techniques about operating the studio, equalizing, miking, and more.

I was never happy with the lack of story to the piece. It felt a bit like a Bank of America commercial, but I think we made what we had work. I buzzed the focus when Jess, our fatherly figure, came around the corner of the playground, which should have been re-shot. I was also not happy with how the scene in the boardroom was miked. The original idea included only voice-over, so I didn’t have the proper microphones with me and had to use the on-camera mic.

I chose to use Steadicam on most of this video so I could challenge myself and develop my skills. The only shot where I used a tripod is in the dorm room of the future college graduate. In that scene, I didn’t have the right lens to rack focus, so I had to digitally enhance the shot to achieve the effect I wanted. Although it wasn’t ideal, it turned out fine.

Overall, I am happy with the product and am excited to continue to develop my technical skills in video production in the next Campus MovieFest competition. My ultimate goal is to get proficient with using the Steadicam and to use it to effectively and intentionally convey a story.

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